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Benz celebrates 60 years of SL at Motorclassica

Unique: Only four W127 Mercedes-Benz 220 SL /convertibles were built as experimental prototypes and this 1957-built, Australian-based car is the world’s only known surviving example.

Rare 1957 Mercedes-Benz 220 SL prototype wheeled out at Motorclassica Melbourne

Mercedes-Benz logo23 Oct 2014

By HAITHAM RAZAGUI

VISITORS to the Motorclassica Concours d’Elegance in Melbourne this weekend have the opportunity to see an ultra-rare Mercedes-Benz 220 SL roadster prototype from 1957, one of just four experimental W127 cars built and the only known example in the world.

Celebrating 60 years since the 300 SL ‘gullwing’ coupe and 190 SL convertible were unveiled at the 1954 International Motor Sports Show in New York, Mercedes-Benz Australia/Pacific arranged for the classic prototype to be displayed alongside a special 60th anniversary edition of the latest SL-Class coupe-convertible.

As reported, Motorclassica is also hosting the Australian premiere of the all-new S-Class Coupe that will hit local showrooms next February. An S-Class sedan – premiered at last year’s event – will also be on show.

The SL prototype on display is the only version of the six-cylinder roadster ever built in right-hand drive and belongs to an Australian collection.

Its rarity is recognised by the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart, which confirmed the model never went into series production and that only four experimental cars were built.

The whereabouts of the other three W127 220 SLs built – all left-hand drive – remains unknown.

Motorclassica event director Paul Mathers said the decision by Mercedes-Benz to unveil the new S-Class limousine at last year’s event was a “real honour”.

“This year not only have they unveiled the amazing new S-Class Coupe, but they’ ve also included a very rare SL to celebrate 60 years of the SL nameplate.” It is unlikely that anyone will be able to buy the priceless W127 on display at Motorclassica but the S-Class Coupe represents something they can – and the S63 AMG model unveiled at the event opening represents the first variant that will become available here.

“Motorclassica again hosts the Premiere of one of our new vehicles, the beautiful S-Class Coupe,” said Mercedes- Benz Cars director and Mercedes-Benz Australia/Pacific CEO Horst Von Sanden.

“Motorclassica is truly a unique event within Australasia and presents the perfect opportunity for car enthusiasts to take pleasure in viewing both classic and contemporary vehicles.” The Motorclassica event takes place at the Royal Exhibition Buildings in Carlton, Melbourne, and is open to the public from October 24 to 26.

Mercedes-Benz will be joined in displaying modern machinery by other manufacturers including Maserati, Alfa Romeo, Aston Martin, Caterham, Morgan and Lotus.

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